The battle of Chancellorsville in England.
The English opinion about the result of the battle of Chancellorsville
was very correctly made up before they got the last news about Hooker
This news was suppressed by the Yankee Government
, and not sent out by the steamer, in the hope that something might "turn up" to mitigate the disgrace of the disaster.
We give a few extracts from the English
[from the London Post, May 18]
It certainly appears to be an egregious blunder of the Federal commander-in-chief
to separate his left wing from the main body by such and interval as to admit of the enemy interposing between them and preventing their co-operation.
This was in effect done by the Confederates
, and the consequent isolation of the left wing no doubt necessitated its retreat.
Of the fate of Gen. Hooker
's army we know nothing, as the Government
, although they must have been in possession of the result of Monday's engagement when the last dispatches left New York on Wednesday morning, declined to publish them.
The position of the Federal
army became critical in the extreme,
if the left sub-division did in fact recross the Rappahannock
The portion of the Confederate forces which compelled that retreat would then find itself at liberty to attack Gen. Hooker
's rear, whilst his front was threatened by the main body under General Stonewall Jackson
The facilities possessed by the Confederate General
for obtaining reinforcements by rail from Richmond, North Carolina
, and even from Charleston
, would give him, besides, a great advantage over an antagonist altogether cut off from supplies and separated from a considerable portion of his army.
A division of the Federal
army was indeed dispatched with the object of cutting off the Confederate
line of communication, but there is no reason to believe that it succeeded in the attempt.
We are assured that the Federals
made no less than six thousand prisoners, but with the admissions before us we cannot credit the statement.
In conclusion, we believe that the Northern General has sustained a disastrous if not a decisive defeat.
The next mail will, however, clear away the doubts excited by the present conflicting intelligence.
[from the London times, May 18.]
On the whole, then, though the ultimate result depends, of course, entirely on the issue of the battle on Monday, Gen. Hooker's objects seem to have been frustrated.
It is true that Gen. Sedgwick
's corps has succeeded in gaining possession of the heights above Fredericksburg
; but this success will have been of no avail if Hooker
is checkmated with the Rappahannock
behind him, and if Lee
was strong enough to force him back on Monday he must have been cut to pieces.
He was ten miles away from Sedgwick
's corps, and Lee separated the two divisions.
The only chance of his success seemed to be that Sedgwick
should be able to operate on Lee
's right flank and rear before Hooker
We can anticipate no more hopeful tidings from the Government
having kept back the news of the result of Monday's battle.
If it should have been unfavorable, we do not wonder at their hesitating to proclaim so great a calamity.
If Gen. Hooker
is defeated the last chance of success, at least in Virginia
, is gone.
[from the Manchester Guardian, May 18.]
The second passage of the Rappahannock
by the chief army of the United States has been followed almost as quickly as that of December last by a sanguinary battle.
The or foolish confidence of the Federals what their General had "surprised" the Confederates in a position which the letter
have been at leisure to study and defend for many months past has been dispelled by the invader finding himself attacked from an unexpected quarter, and compelled to act on the defensive.
* * * * *
It was only by desperate sacrifices, after several hours fighting, that the Confederate
pursuit was stayed at a line far in the rear of the scene of the morning 's battle.
's right wing had, as it is described by a writer in the interest of this cause, been swung round to Ely's Ford, on the Rapidan
.--On Sunday the battle was renewed with no abatement of fury, and at the close of that day we are told that the Federal Commander-in-Chief
had concentrated his lines and awaited attack.
When this is the official version of the position of an army which certainly ought to be advancing, we cannot be wrong in supposing that the state of affairs is bad.